The runt of the Wire litter, Manscape was the final album of new material they released in their ’80s incarnation, and these days it’s pretty much totally dismissed by both the band and their fans. It’s reliant enough on pre-programmed rhythms that drummer Robert Gotobed quit before its brief promotional tour, and the lazy synth presets that are all over it are something of a shock from a band that had always relied on its members’ idiomatic playing. The lyrics, for the most part, are alternately glib and incomprehensible — “cut and diced it always lacks passion,” goes a line in “Patterns of Behaviour,” which sums up the problem. There are occasional flashes of their old eccentricity and power, but only one song here (Graham Lewis’s frothing-at-the-mouth “Torch It!”) ended up being included on The A List, their phase-2 greatest-hits collection.
By Douglas Wolk on 07.14.11 in Icons
One way of describing Wire is to say that they've effectively been three different bands with (mostly) the same lineup: the blazing art-punk mutants of their 1976-80 incarnation, the monomaniacal electro-brainiacs of the...
By Garry Mullholland on 09.09.14 in Features
The U.K. post-punks on the self-sabotage of their bizarre live album 'Document & Eyewitness.'
By Robert Ham on 08.18.14 in Reviews
It feels like the reissue of Wire's Document & Eyewitness 1979-1980 should have happened sooner. The 1981 live recording has been out of print for more than 20 years now, and many of the songs on it were used as the basi...
By Andrew Parks on 07.01.14 in News
In today's In Case You Missed It department, The Village Voice has dug up an old Dangerous Minds post about a St. Louis zine that featured Chuck Berry reviewing classic punk records and "so-called new stuff" like Wire an...